obama writing a letterIn a letter released by the US embassy on the occasion of Lebanon’s 71st Independence Day, President Barack Obama congratulated the Lebanese people and regretted that Lebanon is still without a president stressing that the” election of a president must be a Lebanese decision only, but it is a decision that must be taken for the sake of the Lebanese people.”

Here is the full text of the letter

As the people of Lebanon celebrate the anniversary of their independence on November 22, I extend to them my warm congratulations, as well as those of the American people. The United States strongly supports Lebanon’s founding principles of sovereignty and independence, and the exercise of freedoms for all.

As a friend of the Lebanese people, the United States regrets this anniversary day passes without an elected President of the Lebanese Republic, an important butmissing symbol of the unity of the nation and a key factor in promoting Lebanese sovereignty and stability. The election of a president must be a Lebanese decision only, but it is a decision that must be taken for the sake of the Lebanese people.

The United States is proud of our strong relations with the Lebanese people. These include economic, cultural, and educational ties over many generations. These ties have been bolstered by the numerous contributions of Americans of Lebanese descent. We are also proud of our longstanding relationship with the Lebanese Armed Forces, and the Internal Security Forces, and of our contributions to the development of these state institutions, which alone have the legitimacy and responsibility to defend Lebanon’s borders and safeguard its citizens, and are accountable to all Lebanese. The United States will continue to stand with our Lebanese partners in the face of the threat extremists pose to our countries and the world.

The Lebanese people are among the most resilient in the world. I am confident that, with the support of the international community, they can continue to overcome adversity and build a path to stability and prosperity in the face of the numerous challenges Lebanon is facing in the region today. The Lebanese people deserve this and more. On this happy occasion, I pay tribute to them and to the enduring ties between our two countries.

Barack Obama

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